Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

BA SCORE
89
very good
866 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor
Read the review
Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium
hetanker.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 11-24-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
866
Reviews:
498
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
15.37%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
107
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 866 |  Reviews: 498
Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep creamy brown, slightly purple hues mixed in. Very thick. The head is slow forming with small brown bubbles and good retention.

Lots of spices fill the nose, along with a healthy dose of malt and plenty of dark, ripe fruits. The high ABV also comes through giving it a port-like scent.

It's malty, very wine-like and even tastes 'thick.' Lacing is really good. Alcohol in the finish.

It's a bit on the sweet side. Can't say it enough, it's thick. It really coats your tongue. A bit of heat from the alcohol in the finish. Despite the sweetness and stickiness, it's slightly dry with an earthy finish.

It's not a bad beer and it's something I could drink a couple of an not be disappointed, but there are some rough edges to prevent it from being a really good beer.

 782 characters

Photo of Nihilistkid
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of 6string
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down, the best Christmas brew I've had so far in my quest for good beer. My wife first picked one up for me in France, so when we made a 2nd trip, I picked up two more bottles (and continue to regret not buying more!).

Poured in my Delirium glass, mild head, poured a dark but clean (no sediment) appearance. Hints of chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, a real Christmas aroma, if you will. The taste was very smooth rich, leaving hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate. No bitter aftertaste, and you can feel the 10% but there's no aggressive attack. My first bottle cooled in the fridge just over two hours and was nice and frosty when it came out. I let it warm a few minutes before I really dove in!

I know 5's are supposed to be rare, but I truly believe, personally, that for me this beer could not be improved. It's an awesome beer, I'd easily buy a case to keep on hand for friend and family occasions.

 912 characters

Photo of LJWalker
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in late October from Total Wine for $8.99. The gabby guy from Diamondback Distributing mentioned this is the 2010 edition.

Beer poured brown with a decent off white head on the initial pour.

Nose is dark fruits.

Taste is dark fruits and some pepper. Balance is nice. A nice backbone and a decent hoping keep this from being overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is classic belgian smoothness, definitely medium to full bodied. Very satisfying to sip on.

Overall a very tasty brew, definitely fits the mode of the style. Glad i had a chance to try it!

 561 characters

Photo of cptneutrino
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of getbehindthemule
2/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two year old cellared bottle. Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a very dark red brown. Half finger fine light tan head with good retention and nice lacing. Looks good. Aroma of dark fruits, sweet dark malt, cherry and brown sugar with the dark sugar dominant. Delicious dark and light fruit, malt with the typical aged malt component. The sour fruit flavor has attenuated and blended in the the dark fruits and dark malts. Nicely integrated now. Full bodied and creamy, complex and a delight to drink. This two year old aged bottle is still an excellent strong dark. I'm not sure if it has improved, but it doesn't matter much.

 630 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark rusty copper/brown color with minimal cap of khaki bubbles, little lacing. Strong notes of anise with notes of prune and fig lead with notes of brown sugar and light molasses. Taste leads with initial bite of spice from the anise, sweetness expected from the nose isn't as pronounced and gives a light pastry like quality - pizzelle cookies come to mind and peg the season perfectly. Rum soaked prune and fig on the back end and settles into a pleasant, lightly sweet brown sugar note. Medium bodied, could use a touch more heft to stand up to the bold flavors. Overall, pegs the season perfectly and quite unique with its flavor profile - only a few minor concerns with body and ability to drink more than 10oz or so.

 731 characters

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, flavors of dark fruits—particularly plums and prunes—stand out in particular. It has a light to moderate amount of malty sweetness. Hints of licorice are noticeable in the aftertaste, particularly as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is a good representation of the style and has good drinkability because it’s neither too fruity nor too sweet and has a nice malty backbone. It is a good selection so sip next to a fireplace on a cold winter night.

 870 characters

Photo of fullthrottle77
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of tenesmus
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a straight half glass at the Sand Bar Manchester.

Minimal off white head that soon faded, vigorous carbonation, the beer had a dark, almost black appearance, although held to the light one could see it was not as dense as first appears - not dissimilar to Coke to be honest.

Fragrance was enticing, of liquorice and stone fruits.

First impressions when tasting was of a velvety smooth beer, any heaviness lifted by the carbonation, a great wet kiss of liquorice dominant in the mouth with a complex aftertaste, plenty of spice such as anise, cinnamon, plus sweet malt. Very pleasant, hardly notice the alcohol content and a real hit with the Badminton group.

 671 characters

Photo of dcurrin
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Stoutsman
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First beer of my Beer Nutz flight 5oz pour was $2.75

A - Very dark hazy brown with some tan colored head. Lacing is and head is nice on this one.

S - Smells of typical Belgium with dark fruits, mostly dried cherries, and some candied sugars with yeast notes.

T - Pretty balanced the ABV is kind of notable. The dried cherry aspect gives it a nice tartness which I enjoyed next to mild burnt sugars and other fruits.

M - Medium to heavy this one was a sipper for sure.

Overall not one of the best Belgium's I had on tap, sweet for sure but ABV was kind of noticeable.

 571 characters

Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of CWhite
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of N8DAGR8
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of mrunseen
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of xnicknj
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle poured into large snifter

Pours a deep almost purpley blacked out color with a beige head resting on top. Faint retention with some spotty lacing on the glass.

Rich malts with a plethora of dark fruits. Candied notes with raisin, date, and fig. Sweet but still malty and somewhat boozy.

Dark fruits up front with a hint of burnt sugar. Dates and figs with some candied notes. Decent malt backbone, somewhat roasty, caramel and molasses notes are present. There's a faint metallic note somewhere in here too. Warming alcohol is present throughout, especially towards the finish.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, a little chewy and soft on the tongue. Pretty much middle of the pack for the style here, but not bad.

 732 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up a couple weeks ago in "holiday" themed beer purchase. I bought many different Christmas beers, and this is one of those purchases.

This beer has a sweet and sour smell. You get fruity sweetness, almost like fruit loops. The sour is from the belgian influences. The flavor has as many layers to it as well.

This is a very good sipping beer. I really enjoyed sipping it while watching the Jersey Shore. They paired well.

 438 characters

Photo of wattershed
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of ales4baldo
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P-winter landscape with Santa flying over what probably is a small Belgian town.

A-foggy nutmeg brown. A bit cloudy and dark with a misty feel. Almost no head retention. Poured thick and smooth.

S-Belgian candy and ripe plum. Belgian malts and yeast as well. Black licorice and chocolate notes.

T-basically everything I mentioned above. Nice sweet notes and smooth alcohol hints roll on the tongue nicely. Belgian candy really keeps the beer nice and sweet but not overpowering.

M-really smooth and silk like. Alcohol presence is very soft and light. Carbonation is crisp. Full bodied and delicious.

O-this beer is going to age very well. Really good and smooth with lots of character and body. A really good beer and what I expected.

 740 characters

Photo of psuKinger
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle given to me by my buddy Griff, because we didn't quite get to it during our blind Belgian Christmas Beer tasting. Poured into one of my New Belgium snifters.

A: Pours a deep deep dark brown, trending towards almost-black, with a thick frothy off-white head on top, with large pancake-batter like bubbles towards the middle.

S: Lots and lots of candied sugars and sweetness, a touch of bready yeast notes, and maybe a hint of dark licorice.

T: The dark licorice notes are more clearly expressed in the taste. In fact, I think it might be the most prominant of flavors. Candied sugars and a touch of raisins are underneath. The finish is dry with just a touch of bitterness.

I genuinely enjoy the black licorice notes here, but I feel as if it may be a touch unbalanced and overpronounced.

M: Light and creamy, with decent carbonation and plenty of dry sweetness left behind on the finish.

D/O: This is a prime example of why I disagree with people who write reviews based on a 2-ounce pour. 2 ounces into this glass, and I was really digging the strong licorice notes. Half way through? I'd grown weary of it, it's imbalances became more noticable, and notes of banana started to show through as it warmed, which I really didn't think worked with this brew. Drinkability is not "high" here. I suppose I would be willing to revisit at some point, but this is far from a "must have" Christmas beer.

 1,408 characters

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.97 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
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